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Hi all ... I'm new to the forum but based on some posts and searches, I had some questions I hope someone can weigh in on:

I have an early 50's Selmer SBA (matching 49,xxx s/n) that belonged to my grandfather. I used to play a little clarinet and sax when I was in my teens. I'll probably never be good enough to fully appreciate the SBA, but it has tremendous sentimental value.

It hasn't been played in years and some of the pads stick, no real dings or dents and I think the resonators are still OK, needs the neck recorked and some of the action seems a little sloppy. On one hand, I don't need the fanciest work (I'm ashamed to say I might not be able to tell the difference and it isn't going to impact my ability to get a gig - LOL) but on the other this sax is too good to let a hack touch it ... I'm in the NYC area.

From what I've read here some the highly regarded shops in NYC seem to be:
- Shelly Tanabe
- Robertos Winds
- Michael Manning (Manning Custom)
- Perry Ritter

Any pros/cons to these shops? What should I expect to pay for something like that? These seem like top-notch shops, but are there any KEY questions I should ask (or that you would ask)?

Also, the horn has just a little bit of red-rot and the original laquer is showing its age especially between tone-holes and some hard to reach areas. I would kind of like to have it polished and relaquered just because of the sentimental value. I've read a lot of folks saying if done carefully (not too much machine buffing) there's no reason for one relaquer job to affect the sound as these horns had plenty of brass, although some say it still affects the resale value.

I have NO intention of EVER selling this sax, and it's safe to assume I'm never going pro - so those aren't big turn-offs to me doing the relaquer. I'd just like to play it a little bit, for it to be 100% mechanically and to look a little better than it does now ...

Do the shops above handle this kind of work and would that change any opinions about where to go? How much is a relaquer?

Am I on the right track?

I appreciate any insights! thanks - Ken
 

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I used to play a little clarinet and sax when I was in my teens. I'll probably never be good enough to fully appreciate the SBA
:cry: Then give it to someone who will? I'm sure your grandfather would want this horn to be played like a mofo.
 

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Hi Ken,

The one shop in New York I'd recommend is KB Saxophone Services. http://www.kbsax.com/ They're very passionate and honest about what they do.

I personally wouldn't relacquer it. It will affect the resale value quite a lot and when talking about vintage selmers we are also talking about financial assets. Maybe one day you or your heirs will be forced to sell it, whether you like it or not. Also a good cleaning can do wonders to a sax's looks. Keeping it original, also means, that it keeps a unique look, one that differs from any other horn especially the modern ones.

Hope I could help.
 

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I recommend Rod Baltimore:
NY Woodwind and Brass [48th St.]
...and DO NOT relacquer that horn for any reason

just buy a cheaper horn to use when you want a different look
 

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"I would kind of like to have it polished and relaquered just because of the sentimental value"



Please, please, please don't. These instruments will outlast all of us if taken care of properly, but only so many were made. Think of yourself as a steward for the next generation. Relacquering is not necessary and in most cases damages the instrument, and in all cases devalues it.
 

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Thanks for the feedback everyone ... fair to say I'm sold on NOT relaquering ... thanks for talking sense into me.
 

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Maybe I should clarify to say I'll enjoy the heck out of playing as well as I ever will. WAY too much family history to ever part with it. I'll be the best custodian I can until I pass from this earth. You raise an interesting point though - if should never have a child to whom I could leave it or be a position not to be able to care for it ... maybe my bucket-list should include finding a worthy individual ... :)
 

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... maybe my bucket-list should include finding a worthy individual ... :)
Just a thought... A buddy of mine received a Selmer Super Balanced Action tenor (ironic?) from a woman who's husband passed. She approached the professor at the University he studied at, and asked for a student who was talented, dedicated, and in economic hardship.

-Bubba-
 

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Kim Bock is good. Bill Singer is good. Also add Shelly Tanabe to your list.

I take mine to Shelly for smaller stuff (abadcliche gets the tough stuff from me). Very thorough, unfailingly honest -- almost anal about making it play right, and extremely communicative. She's also equipped to do some serious repairs, including making keys from scratch if needed -- something KB might not quite be ready to do.

She doesn't like working on big horns much (baritones and larger), but a tenor wouldn't be a problem.
 
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